HUNDREDS of Scottish Water workers have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.

Seventy-eight per cent of Unison's 1100 members voted in favour of the industrial action.

The union claims the publicly owned utility is tying their cost of living pay offer to a new pay and grading structure and that bosses have been withholding information from the trade unions.

Emma Phillips, Unison regional organiser, said: "It seems that Scottish Government’s Fair Work and equality commitments don’t matter in our biggest and most precious public asset.

“There is a feeling amongst members that Scottish Water bosses are behaving like Victorian Mill owners – and this overwhelming vote for strike action is a reflection of how staff feel they are being treated.

“We met with ACAS on October 16 in an attempt to resolve matters. Unfortunately, there was no positive progress made. We remain committed to resolving this dispute and have a further meeting early next week, however, we are clear this is make or break.

“Unison and the other unions want to negotiate a new pay and grading structure with Scottish Water, but this is a complex process that relies on accurate data.

"It is not going to be resolved quickly and these discussions need to be separated from any cost of living pay offer.

“The key workers at Scottish Water need their overdue cost of living pay rise now.”

Scottish Water has been contacted for comment.